2, October 2022

What do modelling agencies look for in a model?

It’s not hard to understand why modelling remains a popular career-choice. With location-shoots often done in ultra-glamorous locations, such as sun-kissed beaches or exotic countries, and with the models themselves often showcasing expensive clothes or powerful status symbols, such as luxury cars or designer watches, it is a competitive industry.

Add to that the fact that models are often perceived as ultra-good looking and incredibly fit, it isn’t hard to see why there remains an allure about the profession.

Most professional models break into the industry by signing up to a modelling agency. Reputable agencies act as a vital gatekeeper between the model and the client. They have a list of reputable clients, and pride themselves in knowing exactly the kind of “look” that their clients are after. So, they are therefore in the best possible position to introduce them to the models that they will like.

As a specialist fitness modelling agency, the client-list here at Ripped Models includes underwear and swimwear manufacturers, gym chains and general fashion labels. We are therefore in the market for a range of looks – and body-types – including ultra-huge bodybuilders, slim and aesthetic female and male underwear models, well-toned bikini models and aesthetic sportswear models.

Based on our own substantial experience, let’s look at what modelling agencies look for in a model – specifically, what we look for in a fitness model. By understanding what model agencies are looking for, we hope that this article will help those who are considering applying to become a successful male or female fitness model.

  1. Looks. Let’s start with the most obvious – in the modelling world, looks are everything. However, this doesn’t mean only the classically beautiful, or those with chiseled good looks are required. There are opportunities for everyone, for everyone from those with classical Hollywood movie-star looks, to those who might not immediately be seen as good-looking. If you don’t fit into what might be considered the “beautiful” category, do not give up. There are many specialist modelling agencies around nowadays – do some research and see for yourselves.
  2. Body. Interestingly, the waif-like, size-zero models once commonly seen on catwalks across the globe, are becoming less in demand. Yes, there will always be opportunities for such models, but again, as in the first example above, there are opportunities for all sorts of body sizes. Here at Ripped Models, we are unashamedly looking for fitness models – be it huge bodybuilders, or those with vascular, swimmers’ bodies, or those who compete in fitness competitions. That is our specialism, it is what we do. However, there are agencies for plus-size models too. The options are endless.
  3. Photos. You do not need to get expensive, professional photographs taken to submit to a modelling agency. In fact, agencies are asking that you don’t bother. Instead, top agencies are asking that you send real photos of yourself. They are looking for amateur photographs of yourself without filters and touch-ups. Let your natural beauty and natural physique shine through, without photo-shop changing the image beyond all recognition. Indeed, Ripped Models takes this one step further. We understand that the bodies of fitness models and bodybuilders can change dramatically as weight and muscle mass fluctuates. Therefore, we are happy with good quality camera phone photos for our website. Yes, if you have professional images, we will use them – but we never insist on them, simply because they can be an expensive snapshot if your body mass is changing quickly if preparing for a competition or specific shoot.
  4. Professionalism. Gone are the days when models could look great, but act like idiots. Modelling is a business – a lucrative one. Reputable agencies will not introduce their clients to unprofessional models, full-stop. Indeed, we at Ripped Models have a one-strike-and-you’re-out rule. Mess us around, or our clients, and you will not be on our books any longer.
  5. Confidence. All agencies look for confidence – and we at Ripped Models look for it in spades. After all, you might be standing in front of thousands of people wearing a tiny pair of swimming trunks, and not much else. However, do not confuse confidence with cockiness. While confidence is a golden quality to have, no agency will want to work with a cocky model who thinks they know it all.
  6. Punctuality. Modelling agencies expect models to be punctual. The models represent the agency – and clients will blame the agency if a model is late turning up to a shoot. Remember, hiring the model is just part of the outlay of a professional shoot. They have also hired the photographer or videographer, the lighting, the make-up artists, and costumers, just to name a few. If they are all sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for a late model, the shoot is likely to be a disaster. Therefore, if you have a habit of always being late, change that now.
  7. Social media. Your cyber personality is just as important as your face-to-face one. In today’s digital world, if you don’t have social media presence, you may as well be invisible. New models are being found on social media, such as Instagram, because they are putting themselves out there, marketing their looks and personalities long before they are ever discovered.
  8. Thick skin. When you go in for an interview, be prepared to have your body critiqued. It can be a harsh experience, but it is a part of the job. Don’t argue with a modelling agency staffer or become upset if they do criticise you. It is important to show that you can take a degree of criticism. Of course, that is assuming the advice given is constructive – which all reputable agencies will do. At the end of the day, modelling agencies are looking for the best talent they can find – if a few tweaks are needed to turn you into that talent, then be prepared to listen and act upon it.

We are always looking for new talent – whether you are a bodybuilder, athlete, or sports fanatic, if you think you could be a good fitness model, please do get in touch and introduce yourself to become a model. We are happy to have a chat and see where we go from there – we look forward to hearing from you.

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